Edition: January 1st 2019, Written By: Zoe Woolf
On his first week in office, newly elected President Obama authorized a drone strike in Waziristan, Pakistan. Twenty innocent people died.
No doubt is cast on the reality of Obama’s good run at commanding the White House. Pulling the U.S. out of a recession, advocating for equal rights without nationalistic America-first rhetoric, and collecting a Nobel Peace Prize, Obama cruised through the presidency with an unfading charm, which didn’t come without its irreversible mistakes.
“Turns out I’m really good at killing,” allegedly said the Commander in Chief in his first term. “Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”
Obama’s infamous predecessor, George W. Bush, was in his own right Warmonger in-Chief, having notoriously defied all odds to initiate the biggest conflict of the 21st Century. Over 2,000 American servicemen and servicewomen died in Afghanistan, with mover 20,000 injured resulting from the conflict.
But just how many civilians at the wrong side of the battle died, just to be dubbed another collateral damage, without coverage in mainstream news to acknowledge their loss? According to research, the number is staggering, and far beyond imagination.
Overall, 3,797 died as a result of Obama-sanctioned attacks according to the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). 324 of these were civilians, however, total civilian fatalities were later reported being between 384 and 807.
It might seem Obama went through all the trouble from a Machiavellian standpoint – ends justifying means by which to capture an infamous Osama bin Ladin, to boost his image, to bring the troops home, and to restore American pride. Whatever the case, putting innocent people in harm’s way is rightfully condemned by human rights watch and organisations like the UN.
To exemplify the immorality of these “accidental killings”, Obama aids battled journalists to hide overseas civilian dead count under his watch. And only under immense pressure and outside investigative journalism that would unearth the truth anyway did the administration put the number at 64 to 116 civilians, a clear and obvious misrepresentation of facts. The actual number, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, was six times higher.
In accordance with U.S. law, the targeted killing of U.S. citizens without judicial due process is unconstitutional. Yet, it seemed the world hardly batted an eye when targeted overseas civilians were killed, because they didn’t hold strong documents of identification.
By U.S. republicans, President Obama was severely criticized for all of the wrong reasons, from attempting to cover the uninsured with healthcare, to his saluting a serviceman while holding a coffee, to First Lady Michele Obama wearing a sleeveless outfit in a formal event.
It makes little sense that Bush’s reputation didn’t seep into Obama’s administration. 563 drone strikes were sanctioned under Obama, as opposed to Bush’s 57. In total, Obama allowed more strikes in his first term than Bush authorized in his entire run.